Myanmar requests SAARC membership, India backing it: report | world | Hindustan Times
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Myanmar requests SAARC membership, India backing it: report

world Updated: May 20, 2008 11:10 IST

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"The military-ruled Myanmar has requested membership of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)," Bangladeshi officials said in Dhaka.

The officials said that Myanmar's proposal might come up for discussion at the SAARC standing committee meeting before the Colombo summit, The New Age daily reported.

The 15th SAARC summit is scheduled to be held in the Sri Lankan capital from July 27.

"The country may be included in the regional bloc as a member as a 'key actor' of the grouping extended its support for the move," the daily reported in an oblique reference to India.

Yangon had officially approached the SAARC secretariat in March its membership in the eight-nation regional grouping.

It has also written to SAARC members expressing its willingness to become a member of the bloc.

Sources also said that Myanmar might become the ninth member of the bloc as India has already extended support to Myanmar's inclusion into the grouping.

Apart from Myanmar, Australia has also approached the secretariat of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation for an observer status.

The United States, European Union, Republic of Korea, China, Japan, Iran and Mauritius now enjoy the status of observers in the South Asian grouping.